Pastoral News
Dear Congregation,
    Though hard for me to believe, the time has come to talk with you about my retirement as pastor of Northside Drive Baptist Church (NDBC). Yes, hard to believe, but even harder to write. My last day will be the end of this year, December 31, 2020. 
       You have heard preachers speak of two words for time in the New Testament: chronos and kairos. The first is quantitative, made of minutes and months. The second is qualitative, made of moments and meaning. By the grace of God, and throughout our human and holy lives, the two sometimes visibly intersect. This is one of those times.
NDBC and I are the same age: sixty-seven. We have spent twenty-three of those years together—one-third of our lives. In 1997, I was called to be your eighth pastor; and now, in 2020, I will be your first pastor to retire. This transition will be new for both of us. Like a biblical patriarch said when crossing the Jordan, “We have not passed this way before.” 
    I regret this rite of passage comes at such an awful chronos/corona time. I’d like some face-to-face conversations and in-person congregational gatherings for pondering and praying and laughing and “funeral food,” as Kate Campbell would say. Also, tears and hugs (Kent Anglin kind of hugs). But these up-close times can’t be right now. I am sad about that. However, on this Sunday, August 23 at 9:30 a.m., I will bootleg off the Art ‘n Soul class meeting for a conversation time with all who want to join me.
    Eventually, Liz and I hope to move to her hometown, Asheville, NC. However, there’s no rush. We will take one day at a time; and I will take some fallow time, so as to give my soul’s soil a sabbath. Next year would be my fiftieth year of pastoring. I started when I was eighteen—another fact hard to believe. But, good news: along the long way I’ve had wonderful colleagues, like those on the church staff with whom I share leadership right now.
    Like the hymn says, “Time like an ever-rolling stream bears all of us away.” That includes pastors. The Big River gives no ministerial discounts. Yet, while we are here, we love and live and share God’s light. By so doing, we “redeem the time,” as best we can, by the grace of God. Frankly, you and I are good at it—this kairos/chronos duet. We have practiced our parts for a long time now. The song we’ve sung was here long before I arrived, and the melody will remain long after I am gone. Between my coming and going, you’ve allowed me the honor of breaking the bread, raising a chalice, saying holy words, and while looking into your faces—we joined “our voices with all the company of heaven.” 
Take care,
 James Lamkin…Pastor

Sunday’s sermon title is "New Pharaohs." The narrative of Exodus begins with this powerful line "Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph." Pharaohs are distinguished by their fearful dehumanization of minority populations in their midst, casting an ugly vision of "us" vs. "them." Perhaps this is why the Pharaoh is never named, and the Hebrew midwives Shiprah and Puah are named. What does the text tell us about our own relationship to Pharaohs in our midst?
One of the gifts of remote worship is the freedom to use more artwork in our Orders of Worship. The one depicted above is discussed in this blog entry if you are interested in learning more.
We hope you will join us for worship this Sunday via Facebook or on YouTube. Use the
link above to view our order of worship.
A called Church-in-Conference will be held Sunday, September 13, immediately following the in-person Church-on-the-Lawn worship service. The purpose of the meeting is to consider and vote on proposed amendments to NDBC’s bylaws as recommended by an ad hoc committee appointed to periodically review the bylaws. The committee includes Dave Wooten, chair, and members Hartwell Dew, Jackie Hardin, Don Janney, and Carolyn Mahaffey.

The Church Council approved the committee's proposed bylaw changes on March 1 of this year. The motion before the church is for approval of the recommended revisions.

the existing bylaws with the proposed revisions here. You can also download the document by clicking on this link to our website, then scrolling down and following the link for each document. Hard copies are available on request by calling the church office at 404-237-8621. Copies will also be available at the Church-in-Conference.

Please plan to attend the Church-in-Conference to discuss and vote on
these amendments. If you have questions prior to the meeting, please contact Dave Wooten at

Jo Meeks, NDBC Moderator                                           

Thanks for your continued financial support of Northside Drive, which enables our church to meet our financial commitments to many organizations addressing the needs of our community and world. 

Here are other, hands-on ways to help those who are struggling:
970 Jefferson St. NW, Atlanta, GA 30318
Urban Recipe needs volunteers to assemble and pack food boxes for delivery to people around the metro area. There is a link on their website for volunteers to sign up. 
2847 Piedmont Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30305
Buckhead Christian Ministry (BCM) has volunteer opportunities at their thrift store, Buckhead THRIFTique, located at 800 Miami Circle NE, Suite 160, Atlanta 30324. Individuals and families with children 15 years and older can serve, and they have developed a very strict safety and sanitation plan to keep everyone safe. Since their reopening in June, they have been successful with resuming store operations within limited hours.

BCM also has virtual volunteer roles, including help in reviewing and confirming financial assistance appointments and providing support with résumé writing. Information about virtual opportunities or signing up for in-person shifts in Thriftique is available here.

987 Ira Street, Atlanta, GA 30310  
The Stewart Center, our missions partner for many years, serves one of the city’s most challenged neighborhoods. They are working to meet the needs of neighborhood children during this school year, including holding learning labs (pods) during the school day, where student can learn be in small groups while staff facilitate a "classroom" to help them succeed. They also plan to offer afternoon pods geared toward tutoring in a few weeks.  We gather school supplies for the center throughout the year.

A special request this year is for earbuds and headphones to help students concentrate while they are online with their classes or doing homework. If you would like to help, please use the link below to the Stewart Center’s Amazon Wish List. Once you add to their cart from the wish list and check out, select the option to ship to Ashley Hicks’s Gift Registry.

Mask-Making Volunteers Needed

NW Metro Mask Makers
Visit the group's Facebook page  or contact Gayle Hall at 404-281-7649 or

Clarkston Cluster Schools
Contact Missy Lester at You can 1) Pledge to sew masks by following this link, 2) Buy masks to donate or donate fabric to Amani Women Center
Refugee Sewing Society, or 3) Donate money for masks by following this link.
Middle East Bible Outreach
Following the recent horrific explosion in Beirut and the resulting suffering and chaos, Daniel Headrick received a message from Scott Gustafson, a friend who works with Middle East Bible Outreach and other affiliated organizations in Lebanon, asking for our help. 

He wrote, “We are currently facilitating meals and housing at the ABTS guest house for families that have lost their homes. We are doing damage assessments for the Beirut Baptist School and Gateway Bookstore, along with many partner churches in the vicinity of the blast. Would you come alongside us as we seek to empower the church in bearing witness to the love of Christ by assisting our neighbors in Beirut with emergency needs in this time?” Watch this video update on Lebanon's needs and how to respond.

As you pray and consider donating to these and other organizations helping across the nation and the world, please continue to support our church with your giving. As we learn of other volunteer opportunities, we will share them. Please tell us how you would like to help with our mission activities and also about your experiences volunteering with our partners. Thanks again for your commitment to missions.

Nancy Hall-Shelton and Barbara Atchley
NDBC Staff
Nick Bonner, Custodian
Melinda Clark, Organist
Daniel Headrick, Associate Pastor
Rose Hidlay, Business Manager
Andrea Johnson, Director of Children's Ministries
James Lamkin, Senior Pastor
Will Mathews, Administrative Manager
Joleen Neal, Preschool Director
Mary Lou Swann, Director of Children's Choirs
David Vaughns, Custodian
Keith Walker, Director of Music Ministries